New York-New Jersey Information Office

News Release Information


Thursday, May 9, 2013


Technical information:
Media contact:
  • Martin Kohli (646) 264-3620

Average Earnings and Hours in New Jersey – March, 2013

Average weekly earnings for all employees on private sector payrolls in New Jersey rose to $898.80 in March 2013, an increase of $19.49 or 2.2 percent from the previous March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1.) Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli pointed out that the percentage increase in average weekly earnings in March 2013 followed a slight drop (-0.1 percent) in earnings one year earlier. The growth in weekly earnings reflected a 2.2-percent increase in hourly earnings, while the workweek was unchanged at 33.6 hours. Nationwide, from March 2012 to March 2013, average weekly earnings rose 1.9 percent to $818.40. (All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in avearge weekly earnings for all employees, New Jersey, Edison-New Brunswick, Newark-Union, and United States, March 2012 and March 2013

New Jersey industries

Earnings. In March 2013, financial activities recorded the highest average weekly earnings for all employees at $1,292.38, followed by construction ($1,253.43), professional and business services ($1,186.97), and manufacturing ($1,019.50). (See table 1.) On an hourly basis, earnings for all employees in financial activities, $35.80, also ranked first among New Jersey’s private industry supersectors, followed by construction ($35.11) and professional and business services ($32.88).

Two industry supersectors made key contributions to New Jersey’s over-the-year increase in average earnings. Weekly wages in manufacturing rose 2.9 percent or $28.48, and in professional and business services, wages increased 2.5 percent, or $29.29. Four other sectors had below-average growth in wages, ranging from 1.9 to 1.0 percent. In contrast, two sectors experienced declines in weekly wages—leisure and hospitality (-1.3 percent) and financial activities (-3.3 percent).

Nationally, all private industry supersectors recorded higher average weekly earnings, led by financial activities, with a 3.7-percent gain. Five of the other supersectors registered increases ranging from 2.7 to 2.0 percent. (See chart 2.) Changes in earnings in national industries are available at

Chart 2. Over-the-year changes in average weekly earnings, by supersector, New Jersey and United States, March 2012-March 2013

Hours. Among private industry supersectors in New Jersey, manufacturing reported the longest average workweek in March 2013, 39.7 hours. (See table 2.) Financial activities and professional and business services had the next highest weekly average, 36.1 hours each, followed by construction, 35.7. Leisure and hospitality had the shortest workweek at 26.0 hours and was the only industry with an average workweek under 30 hours.

Over the year, only one New Jersey supersector, other services, recorded a rise in average hours for all employees, 0.5 hour. Average weekly hours in trade, transportation, and utilities were unchanged. Five of the six supersectors experiencing a reduction in average weekly hours had hours decrease 0.3 hour or less. Construction, on the other hand, reported a 1.1-hour decline in the workweek compared to one year earlier. Nationally, five sectors registered lengthier workweeks, led by construction (0.4 hour) and and professional and business services (0.3 hour).

New Jersey metropolitan areas

Earnings. Among the eight metropolitan areas located primarily in New Jersey, weekly earnings for all employees ranged from $1,034.59 in Trenton-Ewing to $703.46 in Atlantic City-Hammonton. (See table 3.) Besides Trenton-Ewing, two other metropolitan areas in the state had weekly averages that exceeded $900—Newark-Union and Edison-New Brunswick. On an hourly basis, earnings in the Trenton-Ewing metropolitan area also ranked first, averaging $30.34. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic, Camden, Edison-New Brunswick, and Newark-Union all averaged above $25.00.

Over the year, average weekly earnings rose in seven metropolitan areas, led by Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, with an increase of $96.26, or 14.2 percent. Ocean City had the second largest increase, up $70.95 or 10.5 percent. On an hourly basis, earnings in Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton rose 9.5 percent and in Ocean City, 7.2 percent. Camden was the only metropolitan area to experience a decline in average weekly and hourly earnings, with weekly wages down $8.56 or 1.0 percent, and hourly wages dropping $ 0.10 or 0.4 percent.

Hours. Average weekly hours for all employees ranged from 34.4 in Newark-Union and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton to 30.4 in Atlantic City-Hammonton. (See table 4.) In total, five of the eight metropolitan areas registered workweeks of at least 34 hours. From March a year ago, average hours rose in three of the eight areas, with Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton recording the largest increase, up 1.4 hours, followed by Ocean City, up 1.0 hour. Among the four areas with declines, Trenton-Ewing had the largest drop in hours worked, down 1.0 hour. (See chart 3.)

State comparisons

Earnings. In March 2013, the District of Columbia, with average weekly earnings of $1,358.61, ranked first in the nation. Massachusetts followed, averaging $952.29, then Washington ($946.62), Connecticut ($932.07), and New York ($929.63) to round out the top five. New Jersey ranked eighth. At the bottom of the ranking were Nevada ($674.36), South Dakota ($661.98), and Arkansas ($659.30). The District of Columbia also had the highest hourly wage for all employees at $37.95; New Jersey placed seventh.

Over the year, New Jersey was 1 of 47 states and the District of Columbia with an increase in average weekly earnings. For average hourly earnings, 46 states, including New Jersey, and the District of Columbia experienced an over-the-year increase in March 2013.

Hours. The average workweek for all private sector employees in New Jersey was 33.6 hours. Thirty states and the District of Columbia recorded longer weeks, with ten states and the District of Columbia reporting average work weeks of at least 35.0 hours. Over the year, New Jersey was one of four states to experience no change in average weekly hours over the 12-month period; 26 states and the District of Columbia recorded increases. (See table 5.)

Technical Note

The Current Employment Statistics (CES) Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is a monthly survey of more than 400,000 business establishments. The BLS recently expanded payroll and hours measures derived from the Current Employment Statistics survey to cover all employees of private nonfarm establishments for the nation, each state, and more than 400 metropolitan areas.

National estimates of hours and earnings for all employees were first published as experimental series in March 2007, and these series became official CES estimates in 2010.

State and area estimates of all-employee payroll were first published in March 2010. All-employee hours and earnings data are available for 1) all statewide supersectors (major industry divisions) that have sufficient sample, and for 2) each Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) at the total private-industry level. These series start in January 2007. State and area hours and earnings data are not seasonally adjusted.

The new data series cover all paid, private-sector employees, including production and supervisory employees. Respondents report total hours for which all employees received pay for the pay period that includes the 12th of the month. Total hours during the pay period include all hours worked (including overtime hours) and hours paid for holidays, vacations, and sick leave. The concept of total hours differs from scheduled hours worked. The average weekly hours reflects effects of numerous factors such as unpaid absenteeism, labor turnover, part-time work, strikes, and fluctuations in work schedules for economic reasons. Manufacturing firms also report total overtime hours for employees who receive overtime premiums for hours beyond their regular hours.

Total gross pay earned during the entire pay period (before deductions) is also reported. Included in the payroll reports is pay for overtime, vacations, holidays and sick leave paid directly by the firm. Bonuses, commissions, and other non-wage cash payments are excluded unless they are earned and paid regularly—at least once a month. Employee benefits paid by the employer, tips, and payments in kind also are excluded. Average weekly earnings are the product of average weekly hours and average hourly earnings. For more information about data collection and survey methodology, see

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Average earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry, New Jersey, not seasonally adjusted
Industry Average weekly earnings Average hourly earnings
2013 (P)
March 2012 to
March 2013 (P)
2013 (P)
March 2012 to
March 2013 (P)

Total private

$879.31 $898.80 $19.49 2.2 $26.17 $26.75 $0.58 2.2


1,229.49 1,253.43 23.94 1.9 33.41 35.11 1.70 5.1


991.02 1,019.50 28.48 2.9 24.90 25.68 0.78 3.1

Trade, transportation, and utilities

779.53 787.37 7.84 1.0 22.86 23.09 0.23 1.0

Financial activities

1,336.93 1,292.38 -44.55 -3.3 36.83 35.80 -1.03 -2.8

Professional and business services

1,157.68 1,186.97 29.29 2.5 31.98 32.88 0.90 2.8

Education and health services

781.87 792.67 10.80 1.4 24.98 25.57 0.59 2.4

Leisure and hospitality

366.71 361.92 -4.79 -1.3 14.05 13.92 -0.13 -0.9

Other services

685.78 693.51 7.73 1.1 21.84 21.74 -0.10 -0.5

(P) Preliminary